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5.0 out of 5 stars A massively underrated book on serial killers, 28 April 2013
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This review is from: Signature Killers (Paperback)
I have an (possibly unhealthy) interest in serial murderers and have been reading books about them for over 7 years. During this time, I've probably read all subcategories of the genre, from the Crime Classification Manual, to biographies, semi-biographies, autobiographies, encyclopedias and case study books. I have been slightly disturbed by the grisly details, and fascinated by the lack of understanding the professionals have of the genesis of a serial murderer.

People are always asking "Why?", "What makes them tick?", and "What are their motives?". How can profilers "Get into the mind" of a killer? I've become bored of these questions that lead to no answers (or the same old). I've come up with my own understanding of why. But for those interested, at end of the book, there are the obligatory theories that attempt to address these cliche questions.
Robert Keppel does not pretend to know the absolute answers, but shares his experiences and knowledge gained as an veteran consultant in a unique way. Most works (including those written by authorities) are content with the following outline of a case;
1)The killers background, where he came from and early warning signs
2)The crimes and investigation, what he did to elude the authorities and how he was caught
3)Analysis, problems in his life that may have drove him to murder

This book talks about how a "Signature" is identified.
I have come across explanations of MO and Signature before, but Keppel also gives the WORKING definition. This is the essence of what the book is trying to expound. To this end, Keppel has made the effort to sometimes stress important points by reiterating and rewording. This is not an insult to the readers intelligence, as other reviewers have imagined, but an attempt to drill into the readers minds, the fundamental drivers of what creates a signature. And in a clinical and non-emotion driven way, describes the brutalization of the victims in report-level detail. These descriptions are not easy for a casual reader to stomach, and may seem pointless and perverse. They are not. Keppel provides the reader clarity on the significance of the wounds in a way that supports his driving point for the entire book. Even then, it seems the point has been lost on some of the reviewers here.

This book has given me insight that has put sense into a lot of things I've read about serial murders. If you are seriously interested in this particular subject, you could do a lot worse than this book.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Jan 2014 13:18:26 GMT
J. Kogovek says:
I saw you posted a few reviews on serial killing and read few books. I would like to ask you for some advice on good or excellent books of serial killers and analasys of them? Thanks
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